Improving Your Golf Game On Step At A Time

How to improve my golf game is a topic at The Grateful Golfer that never loses its shine. I write daily (currently on 342 days in a row) in efforts to help me mentally combat health challenges, but also to improve my golf game. As you know, I am an avid player and my successes on the course did not happen overnight. My improvement over the years was more of a tortoise and hare situation where I am the tortoise!

Have you heard the saying when dealing with a very large task or problem. Someone inevitably says: “How do you eat an elephant? One bit at a time!” Apparently that famous quote is from Francis of Assisi that was originally stated as follows: start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible. Well, that sums up how to improve my golf game over the years.

Never would I have thought 30 years ago that I would be a low single digit handicapper who breaks par from time to time. I thought that his feat was well beyond my reach. However, since I consistently made small steps towards a goal of being a scratch golfer, I have noticed an tremendous improvement in all aspects of my game. As well, writing about golf has helped me stay focused on the my goal.

I read an article from Psychological Today by Denise Fournier, Ph.D., called: The Only Way to Eat an Elephant. It is an article about goal setting and ensuring that the approach we take to solving problems has the following 5 tenets: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. It is a very good read and I recommend it.

There is one word left out of all the readings on the topic of problem solving is that I must take action on a consistent basis. This last issue might seem to be a no-brainer, however it is as critical as all the other steps to solving any golf challenges I have (notice how I did not use the word might 😉 ). It is the act of doing something on a consistent basis that really helps elevate my game to new levels. Yes, I understand that identifying the ‘right’ challenges to fix can be problematic and I endeavour to identify those regularily, but taking action every day is critical.

Taking action does not necessarily mean something huge, but many small things that will add up to larger accomplishments. For example, can you touch your toes from a standing position without bending your knees. This simple act is important to my golf swing because it is a measure of my flexibility and yes I can touch my toes without bending my knees. However, there are other areas I need to work on…..on stretch at a time.

Making changes/improvements to my golf game does not have to result in an epiphany or ‘ah ha’ moment every time I try to take a step forward, but I should be able to see small incremental positive results over the short term. Game altering changes sneak up on us because of the positive improvements we do over a longer period of time. One day I sucked at hitting a 60° wedge, then I was not too bad, now I have confidence. This change did not happen overnight, but one day I did not think twice about pulling this club and have not looked back since because I did not stop teaching myself how to use m lob wedge.

Eating an elephant one bite at a time is a good metaphor for improving your golf game. Regular, consistent activity focused in specific areas will produce fantastic results. It has worked for me over the years and it will likely work for you.

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

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